How to make au gratin potatoes

How to make au gratin potatoes

They may be classic for Thanksgiving but they’re too delicious not to make year round. Don’t be intimidated by the name. Potatoes au gratin are actually really easy to master. You’ve got this.

Do I need a mandolin?

No, but it will make you’re life so much easier. If you don’t have one, just be ready to practice your knife skills, and make sure to use a veryyy sharp chef’s knife.

What’s the difference between potatoes au gratin and scalloped potatoes?

Great question! Gratins have cheese; scalloped potatoes do not. unless they’re Loaded Scalloped Potatoes with cheddar and bacon. 😈

Milk or cream?

We like to use a combination of both. Heavy cream adds an unbeatable richness. Plus it makes the sauce kinda velveety. But an all-cream sauce would be intense. So to balance it out, we add milk. (Whole milk, not skim, is preferred!)

What kind of cheese should I use?

That’s entirely up to you. Gruyère melts well and has a fantastic nutty flavor. And a nice peppery Parmesan is classic. We like to use both! But there aren’t really rules. Fontina, mozzarella, or even a sharp cheddar would all work, too.

Why do I need to cover with foil?

The foil helps cook the potatoes (they kinda steam and boil in the sauce) while the whole gratin is in the oven. We take the foil off during the last stretch of baking to get the top cheese layer golden and crispy.

What if my top isn’t browning?

Since the heat in the oven is relatively moderate, your top layer may be stubborn and not want to brown. When this happens, we turn to the broiler. Once your potatoes are super tender and the sauce is bubbling, crank the oven heat and broil it for a couple minutes until the gratin is golden on top.

How do I prevent watery potatoes?

Baked potatoes will release a lot of moisture, causing your final dish to be a little soupy. To help prevent that you can lay your sliced potatoes out on paper towels to help soak up some excess water. The last 15 or 20 minutes of baking you should also bake the dish uncovered. This will help some moisture escape and make your cheese nice and golden!

Let your dish rest for a few minutes after baking. This will allow your potatoes to absorb more of that cream sauce!

Have you made this yet? Let us know how it went in the comments below!

How to make au gratin potatoes

The Spruce / Ali Redmond

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
557 Calories
41g Fat
37g Carbs
13g Protein

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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 557
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 41g 53%
Saturated Fat 26g 129%
Cholesterol 128mg 43%
Sodium 331mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 15mg 76%
Calcium 245mg 19%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 975mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Potato gratin is one of those dishes that is simple to make, but the results are fantastic and so rewarding. A perfect gratin has a crispy top but is thick, rich, and creamy. The potatoes are soft but still intact, and the whole dish has a decadent cheesy flavor.

This recipe is loosely based on Orlando Murrin’s recipe in “A Table in the Tarn: Living, Eating, and Cooking in Rural France.” It’s a classic French recipe with thinly sliced potatoes and garlic-infused cream, along with gooey Gruyère and brie cheeses. The best potatoes for a gratin are floury types such as King Edward or Maris Piper, which are more widely available in places such as the U.K., Ireland, and Canada, but you can use any potato that’s recommended for mashing. Russet potatoes will work in this recipe.

Some potato gratin recipes call for soaking potatoes prior to assembling the gratin, but that’s not necessary here. Instead, the recipe comes together in a straightforward manner, with the thin slices simmering in milk and cream until it thickens a bit. Serve the gratin with beef such as London broil or even a simply roasted chicken for a classic meal.

How to make au gratin potatoes

Au Gratin Potatoes are thinly sliced potatoes, covered in a creamy cheese sauce and then topped with more cheese and baked in the oven until they are soft with a crispy, cheesy crust! It’s the perfect side dish for a holiday meal or really any meal for that matter!

Growing up, I loved it when my mom would fix cheesy potatoes (aka-Au Gratin Potatoes!) We typically had them when we had a ham dinner, with buttery pull-apart rolls and roasted veggies! But we never had leftovers because everyone loved this cheesy potato casserole with its crispy cheesy crust!

How to make au gratin potatoes

Au Gratin vs Scalloped Potatoes

You may feel intimidated by the words, Au Gratin, but don’t be! In French, Au Gratin means “by grating” or “with a crust.” This potato recipe is au gratin because we top the thinly sliced potatoes with an extra layer of cheese before baking, giving it a delicious cheesy crust!

Many people confuse au gratin potatoes with scalloped potatoes, and for awhile so did I! They both consist of thinly, round sliced potatoes, baked in a casserole dish. And both are extremely yummy!

The difference is that scalloped potatoes are traditionally cut thicker and covered in a cream sauce, infused with garlic and fresh herbs. And au gratin potatoes are thinner, covered in a cheese sauce and then topped with more cheese or bread crumbs before being baked.

How to make au gratin potatoes

How to Make Au Gratin

When making Au Gratin Potatoes, I like to use russet or yukon gold potatoes, because they are higher in starch and therefore able to absorb more of the sauce and they hold their shape well!

The key is to slice your potatoes thin enough to fully cook (no one likes a crunch potato!) but not to think that they fall apart and become mushy. I aim to cut my potatoes so they are ¼ inch thick.

I prefer to use my mandoline slicer to cut my potatoes. The mandoline slicer is nice because your slices are more consistent and it is faster! But if you don’t have one, don’t fret because you can also use your regular knife and cutting board!

And finally, decide what type of cheese you want to use. Traditionally Au Gratin Potatoes use Gruyere cheese. It can be expensive and hard to find. If I can find it, I like to mix it with cheddar. However, most of the time I use a blend of cheddar and Colby jack!

How to make au gratin potatoes

Storing + Tips

PREP: I love making these potatoes for Thanksgiving or Christmas and the best part is you can prep them the day before! Follow the instruction all the way up to the point of topping your potatoes with the final layer of shredded cheese! Then cover and refrigerate for up to a day.

When you are ready to bake, let them sit on the counter for 20 minutes prior to baking! Don’t forget to top with the final layer of cheese!

STORING: Once baked, your Au Gratin Potatoes will stay good in an airtight container for 3-5 days in your refrigerator. You can also freeze them, just let them thaw in the refrigerator the day before you plan on eating them!

REHEAT: To reheat you can nuke them real quick in the microwave or cover with foil and reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

How to make au gratin potatoes

As you can see, there is no need to be intimidated by Au Gratin Potatoes! They are simple to make but bursting with flavor! Give them a try and let us know what you think. We have a feeling you’ll love them.

How to make au gratin potatoes

How to make au gratin potatoes

This easy potatoes au gratin recipe is the perfect side dish for any meal. Something the cheese lovers will enjoy and a great dish to bring to the party.

How to make au gratin potatoes

Potatoes and cheese. Who wouldn’t love a dish like this one? I make my recipe with raw potatoes so technically this is more of a gratin dauphinoise. Still, it does have a nice cheesy crust indicative of a gratin and a creamy base.

This post contains some affiliate links (that means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, there’s no additional cost to you, but I will earn a very small commission. ) i.e. as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

How to make au gratin potatoes

Thinly sliced potatoes are a must especially since they are not pre-cooked. You can buy a cheap mandoline slicer for this. I think it’s worth the small investment.

How to make au gratin potatoes

My sauce is made up of a roux to start with equal parts of butter and flour cooked first. Whole milk is added to the roux to make a sauce similar to my tuna noodle casserole dish.

How to make au gratin potatoes

However, this one goes a step further adding grated sharp cheddar cheese and a little salt and pepper to create a delicious creamy cheese sauce.

How to make au gratin potatoes

Two layers of potatoes and the cheese sauce are spread in a buttered casserole dish.

How to make au gratin potatoes

More cheese is added on top.

How to make au gratin potatoes

It comes out nice and crusty on the sides and crispy on top.

Potatoes Au Gratin FAQs

I like a starchy potato such as a russet potato. However, you might also like a waxy potato like a red potato because it holds its shape better.

Yes, we really love sharp cheddar cheese but you could try Gruyere or Swiss. You could even mix a few together or add a little extra Parmesan, blue, or feta in to add even more flavor.

Yes, many people use heavy cream in their recipe. However, I don’t think it is necessary and the roux makes the sauce nice and creamy.

How to make au gratin potatoes

This yummy potato casserole dish is a crusty, cheesy, and creamy side dish that will surely get devoured by everyone who tries it. In fact, you might just want to make two because it tastes just as good a day later.

How to make au gratin potatoes

How to make au gratin potatoes

This easy potatoes au gratin recipe is the perfect side dish for any meal. Something the cheese lovers will enjoy and a great dish to bring to the party.

How to make au gratin potatoes

Potatoes and cheese. Who wouldn’t love a dish like this one? I make my recipe with raw potatoes so technically this is more of a gratin dauphinoise. Still, it does have a nice cheesy crust indicative of a gratin and a creamy base.

This post contains some affiliate links (that means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, there’s no additional cost to you, but I will earn a very small commission. ) i.e. as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

How to make au gratin potatoes

Thinly sliced potatoes are a must especially since they are not pre-cooked. You can buy a cheap mandoline slicer for this. I think it’s worth the small investment.

How to make au gratin potatoes

My sauce is made up of a roux to start with equal parts of butter and flour cooked first. Whole milk is added to the roux to make a sauce similar to my tuna noodle casserole dish.

How to make au gratin potatoes

However, this one goes a step further adding grated sharp cheddar cheese and a little salt and pepper to create a delicious creamy cheese sauce.

How to make au gratin potatoes

Two layers of potatoes and the cheese sauce are spread in a buttered casserole dish.

How to make au gratin potatoes

More cheese is added on top.

How to make au gratin potatoes

It comes out nice and crusty on the sides and crispy on top.

Potatoes Au Gratin FAQs

I like a starchy potato such as a russet potato. However, you might also like a waxy potato like a red potato because it holds its shape better.

Yes, we really love sharp cheddar cheese but you could try Gruyere or Swiss. You could even mix a few together or add a little extra Parmesan, blue, or feta in to add even more flavor.

Yes, many people use heavy cream in their recipe. However, I don’t think it is necessary and the roux makes the sauce nice and creamy.

How to make au gratin potatoes

This yummy potato casserole dish is a crusty, cheesy, and creamy side dish that will surely get devoured by everyone who tries it. In fact, you might just want to make two because it tastes just as good a day later.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

The hardest part about making au gratin potatoes in the crockpot is patiently waiting while you smell all that melting cheese and garlic.

How to make au gratin potatoes

If you’ve ever baked scalloped potatoes the traditional way, you know that they take a long time. There’s always a risk of under-cooking the potatoes in the center, and that can be stressful when your mission is a simple, comforting side dish.

It’s so much easier in the crock pot! Everything stays moist and the potatoes get crispy around the edges.

How to make au gratin potatoes

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to try it, especially when I grew up eating scalloped potatoes with polish sausage on a weekly basis.

How to make au gratin potatoes

Au Gratin vs Scalloped

To cheese or not to cheese? Both au gratin and scalloped potatoes are thinly sliced and layered with a roux-thickened white sauce made from butter, flour, and milk. Scalloped potatoes often involve cream and have a little bit of a milder flavor profile with no cheese; whereas, au gratin potatoes contain cheese.

How to make au gratin potatoes

Now that we got that out of the way…

Which Cheese Is Best?

When it comes to cheese and potatoes, you can hardly go wrong. I like to grate medium to tangy medium-firm cheeses, depending on how I’m serving the potatoes.

Gruyere is a classic choice and has a nutty, creamy, and rich profile. Sharp cheddar has a bit more of a stretchy or string quality and has a nice tanginess, which is bolder. I might choose cheddar if serving with bacon and green onion.

How to make au gratin potatoes

Which cheese you choose is more about what you hope to accomplish. I might choose gruyere for a traditional Thanksgiving side dish because it will work well with stuffing and turkey. Cheddar or cheddar jack might make for a bolder side dish with some crisped bacon and green onions.

How Thick To Slice the Potatoes

My mom used to make paper thin sliced scalloped potatoes, but I decided to cut mine thicker. Use a mandolin if you have one, aim for 1/4-inch thick slices.

How to make au gratin potatoes

Making Au Gratin Potatoes in the Crock Pot

  1. It’s important to season each layer of the potatoes with salt and pepper so that the depth of flavor is distributed throughout.
  2. Pour the cheese sauce over the top and just let the sauce work its way down.
  3. Set timer to 4 hours, high heat.
  • How to make au gratin potatoes
  • How to make au gratin potatoes

Technical Tip: In testing this recipe, I liked the texture after 3 1/2 hours, but I think 4 hours would make the consistency a bit more scoop-able.

More Slow Cooker Favorites

  • Forever Barbacoa – Mexican Shredded Beef
  • Crockpot Pork Green Chili
  • Cuban Ropa Vieja (Shredded Beef)
  • Green Chile Chicken Crockpot

For this recipe, I use a 5-quart crock pot. If your slow cooker has a larger or smaller capacity, you may find that the potatoes cook faster or slower, respectively.

How to make au gratin potatoes

How to make au gratin potatoes

This easy potatoes au gratin recipe is the perfect side dish for any meal. Something the cheese lovers will enjoy and a great dish to bring to the party.

How to make au gratin potatoes

Potatoes and cheese. Who wouldn’t love a dish like this one? I make my recipe with raw potatoes so technically this is more of a gratin dauphinoise. Still, it does have a nice cheesy crust indicative of a gratin and a creamy base.

This post contains some affiliate links (that means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, there’s no additional cost to you, but I will earn a very small commission. ) i.e. as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

How to make au gratin potatoes

Thinly sliced potatoes are a must especially since they are not pre-cooked. You can buy a cheap mandoline slicer for this. I think it’s worth the small investment.

How to make au gratin potatoes

My sauce is made up of a roux to start with equal parts of butter and flour cooked first. Whole milk is added to the roux to make a sauce similar to my tuna noodle casserole dish.

How to make au gratin potatoes

However, this one goes a step further adding grated sharp cheddar cheese and a little salt and pepper to create a delicious creamy cheese sauce.

How to make au gratin potatoes

Two layers of potatoes and the cheese sauce are spread in a buttered casserole dish.

How to make au gratin potatoes

More cheese is added on top.

How to make au gratin potatoes

It comes out nice and crusty on the sides and crispy on top.

Potatoes Au Gratin FAQs

I like a starchy potato such as a russet potato. However, you might also like a waxy potato like a red potato because it holds its shape better.

Yes, we really love sharp cheddar cheese but you could try Gruyere or Swiss. You could even mix a few together or add a little extra Parmesan, blue, or feta in to add even more flavor.

Yes, many people use heavy cream in their recipe. However, I don’t think it is necessary and the roux makes the sauce nice and creamy.

How to make au gratin potatoes

This yummy potato casserole dish is a crusty, cheesy, and creamy side dish that will surely get devoured by everyone who tries it. In fact, you might just want to make two because it tastes just as good a day later.

By Rena | Published on December 21, 2020

Home » Side Dishes » Easy Potatoes Au Gratin

This Potato au Gratin recipe is easy to make, creamy, and full of flavor. It makes for a cheesy holiday potato side dish recipe that will be the perfect addition to the dinner table.

How to make au gratin potatoes

Make this homemade au gratin potatoes all year round, a potato side dish that pairs so well with all your main courses especially all your sautéed and grilled protein of choice. Often times referred to as scalloped potatoes, the flavor of this au gratin is top-notch with the addition of whole-grain mustard. It gives it that extra boost in the flavor department. The potatoes are prepared in a creamy cheesy sauce and baked to perfection. This cheesy au gratin recipe will be your go-to holiday potato side dish recipe every year and you would want to make it all year round.

Why you will love this potato side dish recipe

  • Delicious and comforting: The flavor of this potato au gratin is so good, there won’t be any leftovers.
  • Easy to make: You can partially prepare some of the steps ahead and store in the fridge to bake the next day. The steps and simple and easy to follow.
  • Healthy: Made with clean and healthy ingredients. Don’t like gruyere? you may substitute for light cheddar.

How to make au gratin potatoes

Ingredients you will need to make this au gratin

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

medium yellow onion

whole grain mustard

gluten free flour or cornstarch

freshly grated nutmeg

How to make au gratin potatoes

How to make this au gratin potatoes

  • First, preheat the oven to 400F and spray a baking dish with cooking oil spray or olive oil.
  • Then, add sliced potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle 2 tbsp oil and toss well to coat. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until potatoes begin to soften and the sauce is ready.
  • How to make au gratin potatoes
  • How to make au gratin potatoes
  • Meanwhile, heat a rimmed pan over medium heat and drizzle with 1 tbsp oil. Sauté the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes, or until it softens.
  • Stir in the mustard and flour. Slowly pour the milk and whisk until sauce is thickened and smooth, 2-3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  • Remove the potatoes from the oven and pour over the sauce, stirring gently to mostly cover and coat.
  • Top with shredded cheese. (You can now cool and refrigerate the dish for make-ahead.)
  • Return to the oven and bake for 60 minutes, or until potatoes are super tender, bubbly, and golden-brown on top. (Cooking time may vary depending on the size of the thickness of your potato slices and your oven.)
  • Garnish with fresh thyme before serving.

How to make au gratin potatoes

Tips and substitutes

Milk: we used almond milk, but you may use any other milk of choice.

Mustard: whole grain mustard was used but you may use dijon mustard

Cheese: If you don’t like gruyere or want to use another cheese, consider using a mix of sharp cheddar and parmesan, or gouda.

Potatoes: consider using Yukon gold potatoes

Flour: Any flour would work for this recipe. Feel free to use cornstarch too. We love to use Whole wheat as well.

Bake time: Don’t rush them, they need a good one hour in the oven depending on your oven

How to make au gratin potatoes

Technically, you don’t have to peel the potatoes. You can scrub them very clean and slice them with the peel. But, we prefer peeling the potatoes for the au gratin as you can see in our recipe. It all comes down to a personal preference.

Yes. You can fully cook the au gratin, store, and reheat later as a make ahead option to save time. We recommend not adding all the cheese so you may add the rest when its time to reheat in the oven. Also, consider cooking it half way like we noted in our recipe to save time the day of.

Yes. You may clean and slice your potatoes the day before. Once you have the sliced potatoes, place in a container filled with cold water and tightly close it. Place in the fridge until you are ready for them.

Place leftover potatoes au gratin in a tightly sealed container and store in the fridge for 3-4 days. You may freeze for up to 2 months,

How to make au gratin potatoes

What goes well with au gratin potatoes

Here are some ideas of what you can have with au gratin potatoes.

Other side dish recipes to check out

  • Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup
  • Honey Glazed Roasted Carrots
  • Baked Brie Recipe
  • Honey Mustard Potato Salad
  • Maple Roasted Butternut Squash

How to make au gratin potatoes

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